The Hot Pot Blog



Thanks for reading!

I’m Dani, I write, I take photos, I like to cook and I like to travel.  On this blog you’ll find photos and stories about our experiences traveling the world while raising a family.

In 2009 I started The Hot Pot Blog to write about food and life in Washington D.C.  Two months later, my boyfriend of 9 months got a job offer he couldn’t refuse and asked me to move around the world (and marry) him.  Five years, four countries, three languages, two kids and one new camera later, we are still in love and I’m still writing about it all.  From 2010-2012 we lived in Chengdu, China. From 2012-2014 we lived in New Delhi, India. Now we’re based in Milan, Italy. 

In between playdates and exploring Italy, I’m a part-time photographer and writer.  You can find out more on

Welcome to Hot Pot!  So happy to have you here!

Want to have me write or take photos of something for you or your publication?  Want to just chat babies and mamahood?  Email me at danielle(dot)dumm(at)gmail(dot)com.

And the necessary disclaimer: all opinions expressed here are personal, not professional in nature.  There will likely be no earth-shattering political opinions on this blog, but if there were, they would not in any way be representative of nor endorsed by the U.S, government.  Just so you know.

P.S. Why Hot Pot? I chose the name “Hot Pot” at random because it was (is) one of our favorite Chinese meals at the time when I started this blog five years ago in Washington D.C. Had you told me at the time that within the next 3 months I would get engaged and married to a man actually moving to not just the country but the specific city that invented Chinese Hot Pot, I would not have believed you. Funny bit of foreshadowing that.

24 responses to “About”

  1. giuntacartoons says:

    Great blog. Informative and funny at the same time – a good trait for people in the Foreign Service. Keep up the good work and good luck in the future.

  2. joer223 says:

    Hey There!
    I had the pleasure of living and working in Chongqing for three and a half years. I loved the huo guo(hot pot)! I miss China so much, I even miss the brutal heat of the long Chongqing summers, where the temperature would hover around 39-41 degress celsius! Little if no rain at all. I miss the throngs of people at Jie Fang Bei.
    I never made it down to Chengdu, but hear it is beautiful, and a little more “foreigner friendly.”
    I hope you’re enjoying your time in China!
    Please do….I loved it so much, I’m so sorry I left. I will return one day. China has a way of getting into your blood, your heart, your soul, and never leaves you! The Chinese people are very near and dear to my heart. I will be reading your blog often. Please visit my blog as I just did and article “The Internet Experience And Blogging Behind The Great Firewall”. Your comments would be welcomed, as you’re having that actual experience now…….Enjoy China, I did!
    Best to you…

  3. jean-luc says:

    Hi U2,,, Hello from Honk Kong, wish I have more time to drop by you… happy thanksgiving and what was for dinner !!!! Dani when the cook book is coming…. and I am hungry for a “souffle” now…. and all the other dishes…..
    have a happy heart

  4. […] keeping with the somewhat new direction of this blog, I’ve updated my “About” page to hopefully give readers a better idea of what they can find on this site.  You can find the […]

  5. danbohmer says:

    I enjoy your blog so I have given you the One Lovely Blog Award (

  6. erin says:


    I am the content editor for BlogExpat and think your blog would be great in our series of expat interviews. It would entail questions about being an expat, a few pictures, and it would link back to your blog.

    If you are interested, just let me know and I will send the questionnaire. In any
    case, keep up the good work!


  7. Whoa.. This is really so much more than any “About me” section I’ve seen on any other blog. Very interesting and yes.. adventurous I must say.

  8. annedesa says:

    A wonderful couple living a wonderful life writing a wonderful blog. Wishing you many more wonderful things ahead.

  9. kush says:

    awesome blog!
    and a wonderful life yr child is gonna have travelling all over the world! 😀

  10. saucygander says:

    Hi Dani, I’ve passed a blogging award to you. No pressure to do anything with it if you don’t want to – it’s a way of saying how much I like your blog.

    • Dani says:

      Thannk you so much for this! Sorry I’ve gotten so behind in the comments but I very much appreciate your kind words, thank you so much for making my day!

  11. […] writer, expat mum now based in New Delhi, Danielle’s blog Hot Pot is about “babies and food and travel and travel with babies and food and that […]

  12. Drew says:

    Beautiful photos! I’m a designer and I’m interested in using one of your photos for a brand that I’m working on. When you have a minute, send me an e-mail and we can discuss details. Thanks!

  13. Flora says:

    Your Life seems so enchanting! Lovely blog!

  14. Nina Leung says:

    Fantastic blog! I just discovered it through Cup of Jo and I’m so glad I did! It’s so interesting and exciting to see how you’re able to adapt and raise children in such exotic locales. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

  15. Lauren says:

    Amazing story!! I too plan to raise my children in India. I am excited to follow your travels!

    Lauren x

  16. Sharon says:

    I love that you named your blog hot pot then moved to Chengdu! Truly meant to be. I just wrapped up a six month assignment in Geneva, Switzerland with my husband and a 1.5 year old boy, and now am expecting a baby girl in the winter. I loved the little coincidences as I browsed through your entries and hope you keep up with the blog! LOVE every entry (I came over to you from your India article on the Cup of Jo). xo

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